U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry followed up on the Israeli Cabinet approval in principle to free 104 terrorists, and announced that Palestinian Authority and Israeli negotiators have been invited to resume direct talks in Washington on Monday and Tuesday.
No RSVP was attached to the invitation, and PA negotiator Saeb Erekat will come without any gifts.
Israel already has sent its present, the Cabinet approval to release terrorists who were sentenced to jail instead of being executed for brutal and cruel murders of soldiers and citizens, including children, mothers and the elderly.
Media all over the world reported the Cabinet decision to free “prisoners” while avoiding the “T” word, lest the character of the murderers be tarnished.
“Today, Kerry spoke with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and personally extended an invitation to send senior negotiating teams to Washington to formally resume direct final status negotiations,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.
“Initial meetings are planned for the evening of Monday July 29 and Tuesday July 30,” she said.
This is great news for travel agents, airlines and luxury hotels, all of which will be busy taking care of the VIPs.
Livni and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s personal envoy Yitzchak Molcho are to fly out of Ben Gurion Airport Sunday night or early Monday morning and meet with their Palestinian Authority counterparts, Mohammad Shtayyeh and Saeb Erekat the same day.
He refrained from praising Israel for freeing the terrorists, and for good reason. The Cabinet in fact approved that a smaller Inner Cabinet will review the list of terrorists and decide who will be released.
Erekat and other officials have insisted that all must be freed of the talks are to continue. “We will continue working for the release of all our political prisoners,” he said, upgrading the terrorists to some kind of workers for humanitarian rights who were summarily court-martialed for being Arabs.
The whole scheme cooked up by Abbas and Kerry could come apart because the list of 104 terrorists includes 15 who are Israeli citizens. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon of the Likud had swallowed hard to vote to approve Netanyahu’s request to free them, but he put his foot down when it comes to the Israeli Arabs. Time will tell if he caves in again.
No one in the government has yet explained – and in fact no one else has asked – why it is the Palestinian Authority’s business to worry about Israeli Arabs. Maybe , just maybe, the PA had some kind of connection with the terrorists. Just maybe.
In the meantime, Livni will have the time of her life, getting all of the attention she craves and competing with Kerry to see who can pour more honey on the poisoned peace process.
Kerry will repeat twice a day and three times a night how brave and courageous Israel is, State Dept Doublespeak for weakness and cowardice.
Livni will say how Israel is willing to make “painful concessions,” and Erekat will continue to say that negotiations mean, “Continue to make painful concessions until we get everything we want because after that you won’t be around to feel any pain.”